By Jan Jackson
I love travel stories, and this is one of my favorites. I not only loved this guy, but Jame’s story shows what a difference there can be in travelers.
James and his wife were on the first Copenhagen tour I did in 1980. A friendly, easy-go-lucky guy, he spent eight days enjoying everything the city had to offer. What I didn’t know until nearly the end of the tour was all the shopping he did looking for what he had promised his friends he would bring back to them.
James and his friends used Copenhagen snuff (a nicotine product that is absorbed through the lining of your nose or mouth). A friendly generous guy, once he decided to go to Copenhagen, he promised all his friends he would bring them back some Copenhagen from Copenhagen. Now a man on a mission, he spent all of his free time in Copenhagen hitting the tobacco shops.
There are lots of tobacco shops in Copenhagen and he was going to all of them. The problem was, he wasn’t finding any Copenhagen. Finally, a tobacco shop owner bluntly said:
“Copenhagen, are you kidding me? The duty on that is sky high. We would have to charge a fortune for it. That stuff’s made in Virginia.”
That could have upset James, since he had promised everybody he would bring them some, but it didn’t. He laughed at his naivety. The joke was on him and he thought it was a good one.
The moral of the story? Unless you are a James-type traveler, some things are better researched before you go. If you like to play things by ear, don’t worry about it. There are far worse things to be then like James.
My advise? Learn what kind of traveler you are so your vacation can work for you.
Jan Jackson is a retired tour operator who is currently writing a book about Traveling Right; How to Make Your Vacation Work for You (see About).